Pick 7 Marketing Trends for 2012

Lists can be so helpful for us to get our minds around the critical messages for a given subject. In a deliberate play on words, I wanted to juxtapose a “Pick 7” lottery concept with a “7 Marketing Trends” informational piece. Collectively, we can agree that any “list” is one person’s opinion and that it really is a “luck of the draw” as to whether applying someone else’s  recommended best practices will make a difference in your given market. Yet…simply attacking the subject matter sharpens our minds, encourages us to support our strategies with sound arguments, and generally makes for better decision-making! So…the list:

  • Location, Location, Location: Check-ins match message with timing
  • People are People: Listen, observe & match individualized message to feedback
  • Not One Size Fits All: Designing for multiple devices
  • Customers for Life: Customer retention through engaging multiple times
  • Behavior Speaks: Connect individuals based on how they interact with you
  • “Mocial”: Email, mobile, local & social
  • Dynamic Email: Static content is passe’; modernize!

With help from the folks at Silverpop, we hope to help you understand what’s at stake in each of these trends so that you may consider the impact to your marketing strategy and implementation. Location: think Facebook, Twitter & Foursquare–it’s important to help your customers share your brand with their friends. By combining incentives for people to let others know they frequent your business with intention in making it easy for your story to be told via email or social networks, you are able to create a user experience that keeps them coming back.

People: King Arthur Flour found that, by simply including quotes from customers in its emails, it was able to increase open rates, orders, and sales by 30%. What are you doing to move away from a generic message to a highly tailored one with a human element that is more engaging?

Device-specific: Smartphones and tablets are overtaking the computer world. Design with this in mind. If someone’s finger has to do the “clicking,” then spread clickable items out from one another and create “buttons” that are easy to use. Think about what you do/don’t like about viewing a website on a smaller device; make changes accordingly.

Retention: We’ve always heard that the customers we already have are the best ones and that soliciting a new one takes a ton of effort. Whether you are emailing those who have abandoned their online shopping carts, or reaching out with special campaigns to those who don’t usually open your emails, it’s important to think about getting as high a return as possible on the relationships we already have.

Behavior: Create a marketing database to track who visits your website, blog, online store, etc, what they do while there, whether they share your brand, and so on. Use tools like CRM to help track and segment your targets into smaller groups to whom you can send very tailored messages. Observe the response to the custom communications and refine what you send out.

“Mocial”: is a phrase used at Silverpop to explain the inter-connectedness of media and communications. What the connectivity means for you as a marketer is that thought must be given to how messages flow across platforms, how brand leadership can be stimulated and captured, and how to get users to check you out in as many formats as you are active.

Dynamic email: That should be enough to say on this subject, but some of us are thick-skinned (and -headed!) Consider: Air New Zealand sends customized pre-flight emails to passengers with information about booked destinations, crew members who will be serving on the flight, and social media buttons to share cultural articles, photos, videos etc about the local weather, itinerary or other matters of interest.

Challenging to think about? You bet! Determine to become a stronger marketer in 2012.

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